'What will happen to us?' I asked. 'There will always be us,' he answered. Patti Smith
This weekend was just a little bit special. Not because we did anything particularly ground breaking – unless you consider painting walls and sweeping the top of our old garage a particular thrill! With three glorious days and zero work scheduled this long weekend, I’d been looking forward to this long weekend of hermit-hood more than anything I’d planned in recent memory. With life these days being a whirlwind of working several projects, keeping up with fitness goals, and still trying to stay on top of the needs of the ever evolving family – I love being at home in my down time, with my family, getting shit done.
This past week we said goodbye to a dear old friend, who, after 15 years (FIFTEEN YEARS!) of our family being rooted in this house, had unfortunately outgrown it’s usefulness and started doing damage (we’ve all had friends like that, right?). Our beloved backyard cherry tree, who greeted us every spring with its beautiful white blossoms, and then cloaked our backyard in its glorious green branches all summer long, was cut down. Over the years the roots had grown so aggressively that anything in their path was threatened, including the foundation of our dear old house. What got me was the fact that this tree – this gorgeous tree – had been there since before we moved in as a family of just three. It’s strange how something so simple can remind you of the passage of time and how important it is to stay in the here and now. We get so caught up in planning, and looking towards the future that we forget one day we’ll be there in no time. In the future. Living it today.
My kids are now almost close to grown, with the youngest being 12 headed onto what seems like 20, with her older sister staring down the barrel of her early years of angsty young adulthood. I feel pressure now more than ever to be there for them, to instil in them the very last pearls of wisdom that will carry them on to being strong, confident women in a world so full of possibilities: both scary and awesome. Weekends like these allow me to re-engage with all the most important people in my life. To go for early morning drives up a quiet highway, not saying a word cause words aren’t required. To sweep out cobwebs and paint over the years with a fresh coat of perfectly white Benjamin Moore (I literally painted my basement office and family room today). To replenish, and to reject too – the things, feelings, and thoughts that don’t serve us, and to start with a fresh clean slate that makes you feel light. Sometimes the burden of memory can be a subtle one, sometimes its heavy. I have only the fondest memories of my tree, and the stories it could tell having resided with us all these years.
Having said all that, bring on a light filled yard and the possibilities of all that the future holds, taking it all on one glorious day at a time. Make this salad with any fresh greens you have in your garden or can find at the market – the corn is the real star here and combines beautifully with the lentils. And this dressing is one of my all time faves 😉 Enjoy!
Sweet Corn + Beluga Lentil Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing:
1 cup Beluga Lentils (or French lentils)
1.75 cups water
2 cups chopped kale, removes from stems
1/2 to 1 cup minced red onion
3 scallions, slices
2 cobs fresh corn, steamed and removed from the cob
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 recipe Honey Mustard Dressing
Sliced cherry tomatoes for garnish
Combine the lentils and water in a medium pan with the lid on and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and cook until the lentils are tender, about 30-35 minutes. Add more water in very little bits as necessary and be sure to check the lentils to avoid overcooking.
While the lentils cook, prepare the dressing and the vegetables – cooking the corn for 8-10 minutes in a steamer basket before removing the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. When the lentils are cooked (careful not to let them get mushy), remove them from the pot and add to a large mixing bowl. Combine the veggies, lentils, and honey mustard dressing to taste and enjoy.